Time

T
Prospects by Anthony Hecht
Anthony Hecht
We have set out from here for the sublime
Pastures of summer shade and mountain stream;
I have no doubt we shall arrive on time.

Is all the green of that enameled prime
A snapshot recollection or a dream?
We have set out from here for the sublime

Without provisions, without one thin dime,
And yet, for all our clumsiness, I deem
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The Short Answer by John Ashbery
John Ashbery
I am forced to sleepwalk much of the time.
We hold on to these old ways, are troubled
sometimes and then the geyser goes away,
time gutted. In and of itself there is
no great roar, force pitted against force that
makes up in time what it loses in speed.
The waterfalls, the canyon, a royal I-told-you-so
comes back to greet us at the beginning.
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He Sees Through Stone by Etheridge Knight
Etheridge Knight
He sees through stone
he has the secret eyes
this old black one
who under prison skies
sits pressed by the sun
against the western wall
his pipe between purple gums

the years fall
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Proem by Martin Carter
Martin Carter
Not, in the saying of you, are you
said. Baffled and like a root
stopped by a stone you turn back questioning
the tree you feed. But what the leaves hear
is not what the roots ask. Inexhaustibly,
being at one time what was to be said
and at another time what has been said
the saying of you remains the living of you
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Sense of Time by George Bowering
George Bowering
Being in a coma can play
havoc with your sense of time. It can
turn your eyes from brown to blue. It can
grow hair on your belly, it can get you lost
between bedroom and office. If you are to
live in extra innings, you’ll have to watch the corners,
step around bad things, ignore insults and welcome
loving hands that sculpt you in your chair. Being
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Meeting Point by Louis MacNeice
Louis MacNeice
Time was away and somewhere else,
There were two glasses and two chairs
And two people with the one pulse
(Somebody stopped the moving stairs):
Time was away and somewhere else.

And they were neither up nor down;
The stream’s music did not stop
Flowing through heather, limpid brown,
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Forbidden City by Gail Mazur
Gail Mazur
Asleep until noon, I'm dreaming
we've been granted another year.

You're here with me, healthy.
Then, half-awake, the half-truth—

this is our last day. Life's leaking
away again, and this time, we know it.

Dear body, I told you, pleading,
Don't Leave! but I understand you
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The Seasons by Guillaume Apollinaire
Guillaume Apollinaire
It was a blessèd time we were at the beach
Go out early in the morning no shoes no hats no ties
And quick as a toad’s tongue can reach
Love wounded the hearts of the mad and the wise

Did you know Guy when he galloped along When he was a military man Did you know Guy when he galloped along When he was an artiman In the war
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In Memory of Eva Gore-Booth and Con Markievicz by William Butler Yeats
William Butler Yeats
The light of evening, Lissadell,
Great windows open to the south,
Two girls in silk kimonos, both
Beautiful, one a gazelle.
But a raving autumn shears
Blossom from the summer's wreath;
The older is condemned to death,
Pardoned, drags out lonely years
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Delia 31: Look, Delia, how w' esteem the half-blown rose (1623 version) by Samuel Daniel
Samuel Daniel

Look, Delia, how w' esteem the half-blown rose,
The image of thy blush and summer's honour,
Whilst yet her tender bud doth undisclose
That full of beauty Time bestows upon her.
No sooner spreads her glory in the air
But straight her wide-blown pomp comes to decline;
She then is scorn'd that late adorn'd the fair;
So fade the roses of those cheeks of thine.
No April can revive thy wither'd flowers
Whose springing grace adorns thy glory now;
Swift speedy Time, feather'd with flying hours,
Dissolves the beauty of the fairest brow.
Then do not thou such treasure waste in vain,
But love now, whilst thou mayst be lov'd again.
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Delia 31: Look, Delia, how we 'steem the half-blown rose (1592 version) by Samuel Daniel
Samuel Daniel

Look, Delia, how we 'steem the half-blown rose,
The image of thy blush and summer's honour,
Whilst in her tender green she doth enclose
That pure sweet beauty time bestows upon her.
No sooner spreads her glory in the air
But straight her full-blown pride is in declining;
She then is scorn'd that late adorn'd the fair:
So clouds thy beauty after fairest shining.
No April can revive thy wither'd flowers,
Whose blooming grace adorns thy beauty now;
Swift speedy time, feather'd with flying hours,
Dissolves the beauty of the fairest brow.
O let not then such riches waste in vain,
But love whilst that thou mayst be lov'd again.
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Caelica 83: You that seek what life is in death by Baron Brooke Fulke Greville
Baron Brooke Fulke Greville
You that seek what life is in death,
Now find it air that once was breath.
New names unknown, old names gone:
Till time end bodies, but souls none.
Reader! then make time, while you be,
But steps to your eternity.

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Dinner at George & Katie Schneeman’s by Ted Berrigan
Ted Berrigan
She was pretty swacked by the time she
Put the spaghetti & meatballs into the orgy pasta
bowl—There was mixed salt & pepper in the
“Tittie-tweak” pasta bowl—We drank some dago red
from glazed girlie demi-tasse cups—after
which we engaged in heterosexual intercourse, mutual
masturbation, fellatio, & cunnilingus. For
dessert we stared at a cupboard full of art critic
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A Song by Lizette Woodworth Reese
Lizette Woodworth Reese
Oh, Love, he went a-straying,
A long time ago!
I missed him in the Maying,
When blossoms were of snow;
So back I came by the old sweet way;
And for I loved him so, wept that he came not with me,
A long time ago!
Wide open stood my chamber door,
And one stepped forth to greet;
Gray Grief, strange Grief, who turned me sore
With words he spake so sweet.
I gave him meat; I gave him drink;
(And listened for Love’s feet.)
How many years? I cannot think;
In truth, I do not know—
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Poets at Lunch by Stanley Moss
Stanley Moss
to W.S. Merwin I said, “Nothing for the last time.”
You said, “Everything for the last time.”
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To the One Who is Reading Me by Jorge Luis Borges
Jorge Luis Borges
You are invulnerable. Didn’t they deliver
(those forces that control your destiny)
the certainty of dust? Couldn’t it be
your irreversible time is that river
in whose bright mirror Heraclitus read
his brevity? A marble slab is saved
for you, one you won’t read, already graved
with city, epitaph, dates of the dead.
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Variation by Bill Berkson
Bill Berkson
Half-ended melodies are purer. To no longer perform in broad daylight,
the apple’s a radish for it,
the winter chill a living thing.
But take your brother into later learning:
Let the girls who will smell the buried cloves there.
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A Spring Song by Donald Davie
Donald Davie
“stooped to truth and moralized his song” Spring pricks a little. I get out the maps. Time to demoralize my song, high time.
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Empty Space by Amrita Pritam
Amrita Pritam
There were two kingdoms only:
the first of them threw out both him and me.
The second we abandoned.

Under a bare sky
I for a long time soaked in the rain of my body,
he for a long time rotted in the rain of his.

Then like a poison he drank the fondness of the years.
He held my hand with a trembling hand.
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The Tunnel by Robert Creeley
Robert Creeley
Tonight, nothing is long enough—
time isn’t.
Were there a fire,
it would burn now.

Were there a heaven,
I would have gone long ago.
I think that light
is the final image.
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from Canto CXV by Ezra Pound
Ezra Pound
The scientists are in terror
and the European mind stops
Wyndham Lewis chose blindness
rather than have his mind stop.
Night under wind mid garofani,
the petals are almost still
Mozart, Linnaeus, Sulmona,
When one’s friends hate each other
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Song of the Son by Jean Toomer
Jean Toomer
Pour O pour that parting soul in song,
O pour it in the sawdust glow of night,
Into the velvet pine-smoke air tonight,
And let the valley carry it along.
And let the valley carry it along.

O land and soil, red soil and sweet-gum tree,
So scant of grass, so profligate of pines,
Now just before an epoch’s sun declines
Thy son, in time, I have returned to thee.
Thy son, I have in time returned to thee.

In time, for though the sun is setting on
A song-lit race of slaves, it has not set;
Though late, O soil, it is not too late yet
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The Consent by Howard Nemerov
Howard Nemerov
Late in November, on a single night
Not even near to freezing, the ginkgo trees
That stand along the walk drop all their leaves
In one consent, and neither to rain nor to wind
But as though to time alone: the golden and green
Leaves litter the lawn today, that yesterday
Had spread aloft their fluttering fans of light.

What signal from the stars? What senses took it in?
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To His Mother, Whose Name Was Maria by Attilio Bertolucci
Attilio Bertolucci
Invoked every sundown, it’s you, painted on clouds
rouging our treasured plain and all who walk it,
with leaf-fresh kids and women damp from traveling,
city-bound, in the radiance of a just-stopped shower;
it’s you, mother eternally young, courtesy of death’s
plucking hand, rose at the fragrant point of unpetaling,
you who are the alpha of every neurosis, every torturing anxiety,
and for this I give you gratitude for time past, time present, time future.

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from Pamphilia to Amphilanthus: Song 5 by Lady Mary Wroth
Lady Mary Wroth
Time only cause of my unrest
By whom I hop’d once to bee blest
How cruell art thou turned?
That first gav’st lyfe unto my love,
And still a pleasure nott to move
Or change though ever burned;

Have I thee slack’d, or left undun
One loving rite, and soe have wunn
Thy rage or bitter changing?
That now noe minutes I shall see,
Wherein I may least happy bee
Thy favors soe estranging.

Blame thy self, and nott my folly,
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A Winter Song by Jean Ingelow
Jean Ingelow
Came the dread Archer up yonder lawn —
Night is the time for the old to die —
But woe for an arrow that smote the fawn,
When the hind that was sick unscathed went by.

Father lay moaning, Her fault was sore
(Night is the time when the old must die),
Yet, ah to bless her, my child, once more,
For heart is failing: the end is nigh.

Daughter, my daughter, my girl, I cried
(Night is the time for the old to die)
Woe for the wish if till morn ye bide —
Dark was the welkin and wild the sky.

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Visits to St. Elizabeths by Elizabeth Bishop
Elizabeth Bishop
This is the house of Bedlam.

This is the man
that lies in the house of Bedlam.

This is the time
of the tragic man
that lies in the house of Bedlam.

This is a wristwatch
telling the time
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The Circus by Kenneth Koch
Kenneth Koch
I remember when I wrote The Circus
I was living in Paris, or rather we were living in Paris
Janice, Frank was alive, the Whitney Museum
Was still on 8th Street, or was it still something else?
Fernand Léger lived in our building
Well it wasn’t really our building it was the building we lived in
Next to a Grand Guignol troupe who made a lot of noise
So that one day I yelled through a hole in the wall
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Prayer by Marin Sorescu
Marin Sorescu
Oh you saints,
Let me enter your society,
If only as a statistician.

You’re old,
Perhaps the years are
Getting you down by now,
Laying themselves over you
In layers of color.
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To His Watch, When He Could Not Sleep by Lord Edward, Lord Herbert of Cherbury
Lord Edward, Lord Herbert of Cherbury
Uncessant Minutes, whil’st you move you tell
The time that tells our life, which though it run
Never so fast or farr, you’r new begun
Short steps shall overtake; for though life well

May scape his own Account, it shall not yours,
You are Death’s Auditors, that both divide
And summ what ere that life inspir’d endures
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Marching by Jim Harrison
Jim Harrison
At dawn I heard among bird calls
the billions of marching feet in the churn
and squeak of gravel, even tiny feet
still wet from the mother's amniotic fluid,
and very old halting feet, the feet
of the very light and very heavy, all marching
but not together, criss-crossing at every angle
with sincere attempts not to touch, not to bump
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Autumn Sky by Charles Simic
Charles Simic
In my great grandmother's time,
All one needed was a broom
To get to see places
And give the geese a chase in the sky.



The stars know everything,
So we try to read their minds.
As distant as they are,
We choose to whisper in their presence.



Oh Cynthia,
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Amoretti LXX: Fresh spring the herald of loves mighty king by Edmund Spenser
Edmund Spenser
Fresh spring the herald of loves mighty king,
In whose cote armour richly are displayed
All sorts of flowers the which on earth do spring
In goodly colours gloriously arrayd:
Goe to my love, where she is carelesse layd,
Yet in her winters bowre not well awake:
Tell her the joyous time wil not be staid
Unless she doe him by the forelock take.
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Calmly We Walk through This April’s Day by Delmore Schwartz
Delmore Schwartz
Calmly we walk through this April’s day,
Metropolitan poetry here and there,
In the park sit pauper and rentier,
The screaming children, the motor-car
Fugitive about us, running away,
Between the worker and the millionaire
Number provides all distances,
It is Nineteen Thirty-Seven now,
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"kitty". sixteen,5'1",white,prostitute by E. E. Cummings
E. E. Cummings
"kitty". sixteen,5'1",white,prostitute.

ducking always the touch of must and shall,
whose slippery body is Death's littlest pal,

skilled in quick softness.Unspontaneous.cute.

the signal perfume of whose unrepute
focusses in the sweet slow animal
bottomless eyes importantly banal,

Kitty. a whore. Sixteen
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A Communication Which the Author Had to London, Before She Made Her Will by Isabella Whitney
Isabella Whitney
The time is come, I must depart
from thee, ah famous city;
I never yet to rue my smart,
did find that thou had’st pity.
Wherefore small cause there is, that I
should grieve from thee to go;
But many women foolishly,
like me, and other moe,
Do such a fixèd fancy set,
on those which least deserve,
That long it is ere wit we get
away from them to swerve.
But time with pity oft will tell
to those that will her try,
Whether it best be more to mell,
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Curriculum Vitae by Samuel Menashe
Samuel Menashe
1

Scribe out of work
At a loss for words
Not his to begin with,
The man life passed by
Stands at the window
Biding his time


2
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Days by Philip Larkin
Philip Larkin
What are days for?
Days are where we live.
They come, they wake us
Time and time over.
They are to be happy in:
Where can we live but days?

Ah, solving that question
Brings the priest and the doctor
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Father and Son by Delmore Schwartz
Delmore Schwartz
“From a certain point onward there is no longer any turning back. That is the point that must be reached.”FRANZ KAFKA Father:
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Gethsemane by Rudyard Kipling
Rudyard Kipling
1914-1918 The Garden called Gethsemane
In Picardy it was,
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Life Story by Tennessee Williams
Tennessee Williams
After you've been to bed together for the first time,
without the advantage or disadvantage of any prior acquaintance,
the other party very often says to you,
Tell me about yourself, I want to know all about you,
what's your story? And you think maybe they really and truly do

sincerely want to know your life story, and so you light up
a cigarette and begin to tell it to them, the two of you
lying together in completely relaxed positions
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No One Goes to Paris in August by Clarence Major
Clarence Major
A Montparnasse August
with view of the Cimetière. A yard of bones.

We wake to it. Close curtains to it.
Wake to its lanes. Rows of coffin-stones in varying light.

Walking here. Late with shade low, low, long.
We’re passing through, just passing through
neat aisles of gray mausoleums.

(From Paris. Send this postcard. This one.
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Now by Robert Browning
Robert Browning
Out of your whole life give but one moment!
All of your life that has gone before,
All to come after it, – so you ignore,
So you make perfect the present, – condense,
In a rapture of rage, for perfection’s endowment,
Thought and feeling and soul and sense –
Merged in a moment which gives me at last
You around me for once, you beneath me, above me –
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The Pilot in the Jungle by John Ciardi
John Ciardi
I

Machine stitched rivets ravel on a tree
Whose name he does not know. Left in the sky,
He dangles from a silken cumulus
(Stork’s bundle upside down
On the delivering wind) and sees unborn
Incredible jungles of the lizard’s eye:
Dark fern, dark river, a shale coliseum
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The Rescue by Robert Creeley
Robert Creeley
The man sits in a timelessness
with the horse under him in time
to a movement of legs and hooves
upon a timeless sand.

Distance comes in from the foreground
present in the picture as time
he reads outward from
and comes from that beginning.
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Song: Go, Lovely Rose by Edmund Waller
Edmund Waller
Go, lovely rose!
Tell her that wastes her time and me,
That now she knows,
When I resemble her to thee,
How sweet and fair she seems to be.

Tell her that’s young,
And shuns to have her graces spied,
That hadst thou sprung
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Song: “It was a lover and his lass” by William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare
(fromAs You Like It) It was a lover and his lass,
With a hey, and a ho, and a hey nonino,
That o’er the green cornfield did pass,
In springtime, the only pretty ring time,
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To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time by Robert Herrick
Robert Herrick
Gather ye rose-buds while ye may,
Old Time is still a-flying;
And this same flower that smiles today
Tomorrow will be dying.

The glorious lamp of heaven, the sun,
The higher he’s a-getting,
The sooner will his race be run,
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When in Wisconsin Where I Once Had Time by John Engels
John Engels
When in Wisconsin where I once had time
the flyway swans came whistling
to the rotten Green Bay ice and stayed,
not feeding, four days, maybe five, I shouted

and threw stones to see them fly.
Blue herons followed, or came first.
I shot a bittern’s wing off with my gun.
For that my wife could cry.
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When Last We Parted by Catherine Maria Fanshawe
Catherine Maria Fanshawe
When last we parted, thou wert young and fair,
How beautiful let fond remembrance say!
Alas! since then old time has stolen away
Full thirty years, leaving my temples bare.—
So has it perished like a thing of air,
The dream of love and youth!— now both are grey
Yet still remembering that delightful day,
Though time with his cold touch has blanched my hair,
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Young Love by Andrew Marvell
Andrew Marvell
Come, little infant, love me now,
While thine unsuspected years
Clear thine agèd father’s brow
From cold jealousy and fears.

Pretty, surely, ’twere to see
By young love old time beguiled,
While our sportings are as free
As the nurse’s with the child.

Common beauties stay fifteen;
Such as yours should swifter move,
Whose fair blossoms are too green
Yet for lust, but not for love.

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bon bon il est un pays by Samuel Beckett
Samuel Beckett
all right all right there’s a land
where forgetting where forgetting weighs
gently upon worlds unnamed
there the head we shush it the head is mute
and one knows no but one knows nothing
the song of dead mouths dies
on the shore it has made its voyage
there is nothing to mourn
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Anniversaries by Thomas McGrath
Thomas McGrath
for Don and Henrie Gordon Forty-odd years ago—
Headlines in the snow—
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For My Contemporaries by J. V. Cunningham
J. V. Cunningham
How time reverses
The proud in heart!
I now make verses
Who aimed at art.

But I sleep well.
Ambitious boys
Whose big lines swell
With spiritual noise,
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Lines for a Prologue by Archibald MacLeish
Archibald MacLeish
These alternate nights and days, these seasons
Somehow fail to convince me. It seems
I have the sense of infinity!

(In your dreams, O crew of Columbus,
O listeners over the sea
For the surf that breaks upon Nothing—)

Once I was waked by the nightingales in the garden.
I thought, What time is it? I thought,
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The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock by T. S. Eliot
T. S. Eliot
S’io credesse che mia risposta fosse
A persona che mai tornasse al mondo,
Questa fiamma staria senza piu scosse.
Ma percioche giammai di questo fondo
Non torno vivo alcun, s’i’odo il vero,
Senza tema d’infamia ti rispondo.
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Our Hired Girl by James Whitcomb Riley
James Whitcomb Riley
Our hired girl, she's 'Lizabuth Ann;
An' she can cook best things to eat!
She ist puts dough in our pie-pan,
An' pours in somepin' 'at's good an' sweet;
An' nen she salts it all on top
With cinnamon; an' nen she'll stop
An' stoop an' slide it, ist as slow,
In th' old cook-stove, so's 'twon't slop
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The Reckoning by Robert W. Service
Robert W. Service
It’s fine to have a blow-out in a fancy restaurant,
With terrapin and canvas-back and all the wine you want;
To enjoy the flowers and music, watch the pretty women pass,
Smoke a choice cigar, and sip the wealthy water in your glass.
It’s bully in a high-toned joint to eat and drink your fill,
But it’s quite another matter when you
Pay the bill.

It’s great to go out every night on fun or pleasure bent;
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Recollections of the Arabian Nights by Alfred, Lord Tennyson
Alfred, Lord Tennyson
When the breeze of a joyful dawn blew free
In the silken sail of infancy,
The tide of time flow'd back with me,
The forward-flowing tide of time;
And many a sheeny summer-morn,
Adown the Tigris I was borne,
By Bagdat's shrines of fretted gold,
High-walled gardens green and old;
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Sonnet 15: When I consider everything that grows by William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare
When I consider everything that grows
Holds in perfection but a little moment,
That this huge stage presenteth nought but shows
Whereon the stars in secret influence comment;
When I perceive that men as plants increase,
Cheered and check'd even by the selfsame sky,
Vaunt in their youthful sap, at height decrease,
And wear their brave state out of memory;
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Sonnet 19: Devouring Time, blunt thou the lion's paws by William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare
Devouring Time, blunt thou the lion's paws,
And make the earth devour her own sweet brood;
Pluck the keen teeth from the fierce tiger's jaws,
And burn the long-liv'd Phoenix in her blood;
Make glad and sorry seasons as thou fleets,
And do whate'er thou wilt, swift-footed Time,
To the wide world and all her fading sweets;
But I forbid thee one more heinous crime:
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Sonnet 60: Like as the waves make towards the pebbl'd shore by William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare
Like as the waves make towards the pebbl'd shore,
So do our minutes hasten to their end;
Each changing place with that which goes before,
In sequent toil all forwards do contend.
Nativity, once in the main of light,
Crawls to maturity, wherewith being crown'd,
Crooked eclipses 'gainst his glory fight,
And Time that gave doth now his gift confound.
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Sonnet 97: How like a winter hath my absence been by William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare
How like a winter hath my absence been
From thee, the pleasure of the fleeting year!
What freezings have I felt, what dark days seen!
What old December's bareness everywhere!
And yet this time remov'd was summer's time,
The teeming autumn, big with rich increase,
Bearing the wanton burthen of the prime,
Like widow'd wombs after their lords' decease:
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Sonnet 106: When in the chronicle of wasted time by William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare
When in the chronicle of wasted time
I see descriptions of the fairest wights,
And beauty making beautiful old rhyme
In praise of ladies dead and lovely knights,
Then, in the blazon of sweet beauty's best,
Of hand, of foot, of lip, of eye, of brow,
I see their antique pen would have express'd
Even such a beauty as you master now.
So all their praises are but prophecies
Of this our time, all you prefiguring;
And, for they look'd but with divining eyes,
They had not skill enough your worth to sing:
For we, which now behold these present days,
Have eyes to wonder, but lack tongues to praise.
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from Stanzas in Meditation: Stanza  5 by Gertrude Stein
Gertrude Stein
Why can pansies be their aid or paths.
He said paths she had said paths
All like to do their best with half of the time
A sweeter sweetener came and came in time
Tell him what happened then only to go
He nervous as you add only not only as they angry were
Be kind to half the time that they shall say
It is undoubtedly of them for them for every one any one
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40
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Time Long Past by Percy Bysshe Shelley
Percy Bysshe Shelley
Like the ghost of a dear friend dead
Is Time long past.
A tone which is now forever fled,
A hope which is now forever past,
A love so sweet it could not last,
Was Time long past.

There were sweet dreams in the night
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43
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Waiting for a Ride by Gary Snyder
Gary Snyder
Standing at the baggage passing time:
Austin Texas airport—my ride hasn’t come yet.
My former wife is making websites from her home,
one son’s seldom seen,
the other one and his wife have a boy and girl of their own.
My wife and stepdaughter are spending weekdays in town
so she can get to high school.
My mother ninety-six still lives alone and she’s in town too,
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31
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Walking West by William E. Stafford
William E. Stafford
Anyone with quiet pace who
walks a gray road in the West
may hear a badger underground where
in deep flint another time is

Caught by flint and held forever,
the quiet pace of God stopped still.
Anyone who listens walks on
time that dogs him single file,
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34
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When I Heard the Learn’d Astronomer by Walt Whitman
Walt Whitman
When I heard the learn’d astronomer,
When the proofs, the figures, were ranged in columns before me,
When I was shown the charts and diagrams, to add, divide, and measure them,
When I sitting heard the astronomer where he lectured with much applause in the lecture-room,
How soon unaccountable I became tired and sick,
Till rising and gliding out I wander’d off by myself,
In the mystical moist night-air, and from time to time,
Look’d up in perfect silence at the stars.
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35
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In Time by Gerald Stern
Gerald Stern
As far as clocks—and it is time to think of them—
I have one on my kitchen shelf and it is
flat, with a machine-made flair, a perfect
machine from 1948, at the latest,
and made of shining plastic with the numbers
sharp and clear and slightly magnified in
that heartbreaking post-war style, the cord
too short, though what does it matter, since the mechanism
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42
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